House prices double in an Australian capital as people try to escape Covid lockdowns

House prices double in an Australian capital as thousands flock to ‘freedom state’ to escape lockdowns

  • Brisbane property prices soar as residents flee Sydney and Melbourne
  • More than 30,000 Australians moved to Queensland in 2020 – a record in 15 years
  • Ongoing Covid lockdowns and flexibility in working from home are key factors
  • The current median house price in Brisbane is $678,000 – that could double soon










House prices in Brisbane could double in the coming years after thousands of residents moved to the Sunshine State in a desperate attempt to escape the brutal Covid lockdowns.

As a sign of the times, more than 30,000 Australians moved to Queensland in 2020 – a record in 15 years.

And with a population of approximately 3.7 million, the southeast corner of Queensland is already the fastest growing zone in the country.

Forecasts suggest it will exceed five million by the middle of the next decade.

With Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk citing the rush to escape the lockdown as the main reason for the significant influx of people from other states, real estate experts agree the trend is likely to be long-lasting.

More than 30,000 Australians moved to Queensland in 2020 – a peak in 15 years – in a bid to escape lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne, among others (photo, elite living in Hamilton on the Brisbane River)

The current median house price in Brisbane is $678,000 - much cheaper than other Australian capitals - but that will change in the coming years (pictured, Brisbane's CBD)

The current median house price in Brisbane is $678,000 – much cheaper than other Australian capitals – but that will change in the coming years (pictured, Brisbane’s CBD)

“Home buyers have realized that remote working is here to stay due to the pandemic and entered a ‘race for space,’” said national real estate network BuyersBuyers co-founder Pete Wargent.

“There has been a clear shift towards boom change and especially coastal or sea change markets, with a rush of city buyers going out to compete for a limited supply of demanded stock.

‘Surveys conducted through the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicate that while many Australians will eventually return to capital cities, the trend towards remote working is expected to continue for many more companies than in the pre-pandemic period.’

Wargent said tech companies currently have to offer flexible work arrangements as a matter of course due to border closures and skills shortages.

Still, he believes that as buyers get a taste of life in lifestyle locations, many will choose to stay for the long haul.

While employment has historically made Sydney and Melbourne among Australia’s main population growth centers, internal migration has been greatly reversed during prolonged lockdowns, with South East Queensland being the main beneficiary.

Wargent said that while strict rules surrounding the inspection of properties for sale have impacted housing sales, especially in Victoria, buyers continue to make plans to move.

Brisbane’s current median home price of $678,000 is less than half that of Sydney ($1.4 million), with Melbourne just over $1 million, according to Domain.

But by the time the 2032 Olympics are held, the amount in Brisbane is likely to reach $1.5 million.

CoreLogic data shows the city’s annual home value growth at 18.4 percent.

It was the third fastest city nationally for August (2 percent) behind the much smaller markets in Canberra (2.2 percent) and Hobart (2.3 percent).

Residents are picking up properties and moving off the highway - and the knock-on effect is a predicted Brisbane housing boom (photo, houses in Bulimba overlooking the CBD)

Residents are picking up properties and moving off the highway – and the knock-on effect is a predicted Brisbane housing boom (photo, houses in Bulimba overlooking the CBD)

With Brisbane hosting the 2032 Olympics, real estate experts predict house prices could rise to as much as $1.5 million - double the current median price (pictured, Kangaroo Point in Queensland)

With Brisbane hosting the 2032 Olympics, real estate experts predict house prices could rise to as much as $1.5 million – double the current median price (pictured, Kangaroo Point in Queensland)

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